The Green Bay Packers contend they have the best player in the NFL in Aaron Rodgers and it’s an easy case to put together for the quarterback.
So what to do with Matt Flynn?
It’s going to be an interesting offseason in Green Bay once the playoff run, which could lead the Packers to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis next month, ends.
Backup quarterback Matt Flynn would have been an intriguing prospect as an unrestricted free agent. Now, he could be a hot one – one in position to potentially cash in big-time. Flynn capped the Packers’ 15-1 regular season with a record-setting performance in a 45-41 victory over the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field on Jan. 1. Coach Mike McCarthy made the decision to rest Rodgers in a game that had no bearing on the team’s playoff positioning.
Flynn delivered, passing for 480 yards and six touchdowns, joining Y.A. Tittle (1962), Joe Namath (1972) and Joe Montana (1990) as the only passers to throws for as many scores and 475 yards in a game. Talk about rare company.
The kicker here is Flynn will be an unrestricted free agent, as well playmaking Packers tight end Jermichael Finley. Rob Rieschel does a nice job of breaking down the situation for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Would the Packers franchise tag Flynn at $14 million for 2012 with Rodgers due to make $8 million? He could immediately sign the tender and put a crimp in the Packers’ financial plan until they executed what would be a likely trade.
That is what the New England Patriots did with their backup quarterback Matt Cassel in 2009. If the Packers can get Finley under contract before the deadline to use the franchise tag, it could happen again. Green Bay did it before with defensive tackle Corey Williams too.
The bottom line right now is Flynn is in a far better situation than he was a week ago at this time. He should have teams seriously interested in him. The Packers are now proving they can develop backups behind Rodgers, just like they did before behind Brett Favre. Mark Brunell, Aaron Brooks and Matt Hasselbeck are all examples of quarterbacks who developed behind Favre and then found success elsewhere.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune